1. Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ Jesus, and Timothy, our brother, to the church of God in Corinth and to all God's holy people in the whole of Achaia.
2. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father and the God who gives every possible encouragement;
4. he supports us in every hardship, so that we are able to come to the support of others, in every hardship of theirs because of the encouragement that we ourselves receive from God.
5. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow into our lives; so too does the encouragement we receive through Christ.
6. So if we have hardships to undergo, this will contribute to your encouragement and your salvation; if we receive encouragement, this is to gain for you the encouragement which enables you to bear with perseverance the same sufferings as we do.
7. So our hope for you is secure in the knowledge that you share the encouragement we receive, no less than the sufferings we bear.
8. So in the hardships we underwent in Asia, we want you to be quite certain, brothers, that we were under extraordinary pressure, beyond our powers of endurance, so that we gave up all hope even of surviving.
9. In fact we were carrying the sentence of death within our own selves, so that we should be forced to trust not in ourselves but in God, who raises the dead.
10. He did save us from such a death and will save us -- we are relying on him to do so.
11. Your prayer for us will contribute to this, so that, for God's favour shown to us as the result of the prayers of so many, thanks too may be given by many on our behalf.
12. There is one thing that we are proud of, namely our conscientious conviction that we have always behaved towards everyone, and especially towards you, with that unalloyed holiness that comes from God, relying not on human reasoning but on the grace of God.
13. In our writing, there is nothing that you cannot read clearly and understand;
14. and it is my hope that, just as you have already understood us partially, so you will understand fully that you can be as proud of us as we shall be of you when the Day of our Lord Jesus comes.
15. It was with this assurance that I had been meaning to come to you first, so that you would benefit doubly;
16. both to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and then to return to you again from Macedonia, so that you could set me on my way to Judaea.
17. Since that was my purpose, do you think I lightly changed my mind? Or that my plans are based on ordinary human promptings and I have in my mind Yes, yes at the same time as No, no?
18. As surely as God is trustworthy, what we say to you is not both Yes and No.
19. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, that is, by me and by Silvanus and Timothy, was never Yes-and-No; his nature is all Yes.
20. For in him is found the Yes to all God's promises and therefore it is 'through him' that we answer 'Amen' to give praise to God.
21. It is God who gives us, with you, a sure place in Christ
22. and has both anointed us and marked us with his seal, giving us as pledge the Spirit in our hearts.
23. By my life I call on God to be my witness that it was only to spare you that I did not come to Corinth again.
24. We have no wish to lord it over your faith, but to work with you for your joy; for your stand in the faith is firm.